If you ask a room full of adults if they would like to go back and re-live middle school, few if any hands would go up. For most of us, these difficult years hold troubling memories of social awkwardness and insecurities. At Ascension Lutheran School, we believe that Middle School should be a time to flourish, not to fear. These early adolescent years should be a time of exploring what it means to be an adult, a time for growing in confidence and responsibility as students discover how they can have a positive impact on their school, their home, their community and their world.
We asked parents of middle school students at Ascension Lutheran School to share their experience. Their responses, which are shared below, reveal 5 reasons to consider a small Christian Middle School as you seek the best environment for your child to thrive and grow through these critical developmental years.
1. TEACHERS REALLY KNOW THEIR STUDENTS
“Growing up in a public elementary school environment, we recognized that our son was becoming very introverted. Teachers would comment that they didn’t really know him, and it honestly didn’t seem like they were really trying. He was a bright child who did his work, and probably didn’t, in their minds, require extra time and attention. We transferred him to Ascension in the 6th grade. What strikes me about the teachers here is that they truly get to know their students. Shortly after coming here, the music teacher recognized his interest in singing, and now a child who had never sung on stage before is singing in choirs both in and outside of school. He also has a passion for studying birds. Recently, he had the opportunity to share his knowledge by presenting a lesson to kindergarten students in the Organic Teaching Garden. This year he is serving as Student Body President on Student Council. It has been wonderful to see him thrive during his years here to such a point that we are confident he will transition well into the high school setting as he continues to pursue his interests.”
Mary, Parent of an 8th-grade Student
2. OPPORTUNITIES TO EXCEL
“Our son came to Ascension in 8th-grade, and we feel like this year is the biggest gift we could have given him. Ascension has been able to challenge and accommodate him academically in a way that the public school would not. He is a student who has always loved math. At Ascension, his learning is not bound by text books, but he can take his interests and learning to the next level. We have found the middle school environment at Ascension to be a far richer experience with opportunities for him to also grow in his faith and participate in athletics, electives, Spanish and music. We have seen him develop more confidence this year as he’s served on Student Council and is encouraged and mentored by teachers to execute on his ideas and develop his own unique gifts.”
Jeff, Parent of a 8th-grade Student
3. A SENSE OF BELONGING
“We transferred our son to Ascension Lutheran School because we liked the idea of a smaller class size. Recently while picking him up, he commented, “Mom, I actually look forward to coming to school now.” Knowing the teachers here truly care about his education, and seeing him enjoy every aspect of the school, is all a parent could ask for. The kindness and sense of belonging that permeate throughout the campus serve as daily reminders that we made the right decision to transfer. Ascension Lutheran School has truly been a Godsend.”
Dawna, Parent of a 7th-grade Student
4. SMALL CLASS SIZES
“Ascension was recommended by a friend and we couldn’t be happier with the move. Our son has improved dramatically not only in his grades but with his attitude towards school. Having come from class sizes of 40+ in his previous school, we were finding that he would quickly lose interest in subjects and was satisfied with mediocre work. At Ascension the class sizes and individualized attention has re-engaged him in learning.”
Heather, Parent of a 7th-Grade Student
5. STUDENTS DEVELOP CONFIDENCE
“We are so blessed to have our son attend Ascension Lutheran School. We feel like we have our son back, he is back to his happy go lucky self, singing every day, confident, creative, imaginative…it’s like his little light was turned back on. Our son pointed out a few days ago that he hasn’t cried once since starting school at Ascension Lutheran. He is so glad to be attending Ascension Lutheran School.
While attending public school, beginning in sixth grade, our son was crying every day after school. He was being hurt in every way: spiritually, physically, emotionally and his self-esteem had taken a plunge.
The children and staff at Ascension Lutheran have been extremely welcoming and my son felt instantly that he belonged, that he was at home. He has a safe haven to learn not only about academic subjects, but to be able to express himself spiritually. He was so thrilled to celebrate Christmas for the first time at school! I cannot say enough good things about Ascension Lutheran School. We are so grateful and blessed! This was the best decision we could have make for our son.”
Terri, Parent of a 6th-Grade Student
Learn more about the Middle School program at Ascension.